When you’re spending a few days at an amusement park, your health habits may go on a roller coaster ride. You start the day off with a good breakfast and quickly go downhill when the smell of fried food tickles your nose. Stop drooling over those funnel cakes! You can coast past the fat fest by setting yourself up for success.
Start here: The gym. Most likely your hotel will have a small gym you can work with. If not, ask the front desk for directions to the closest fitness center or running trail. Make the most of whatever is available; just be sure to get your heart rate up for at least 30 minutes.
Fuel station: Breakfast. Your hotel may offer a complementary breakfast. If so, choose wisely. Doughy muffins and buttermilk biscuits won’t give you the long-lasting energy you need for the day ahead. Fill up on protein (I aim for at least 20 grams) and fiber so you’re not starving and susceptible to indulging in park fare. Before you leave, pack a bag with healthy snacks, such as high-protein pretzels.
Next stop: The parks! Enjoy the rush of adrenaline as you get shot up, turned upside down and spun around on as many rides as you can stand. You’ll want to drink plenty of water to help keep you from becoming nauseated. And don’t forget your walking shoes!
Fuel station: Lunch. What are you to do when you’re surrounded by hot dogs, corn dogs and greasy cheeseburgers? Order a grilled chicken sandwich and take the time to sit down and eat. Skip the side of fries or chips for a fruit cup.
Make a U-turn: Back to the amusement! The afternoon is a good time for water rides. It’s usually warmer after lunch, so give your stomach — and heart rate — a break by cooling off on a water adventure.
Fuel station: Snack attack. Munch on those protein pretzels or a low-sugar protein bar to hold you over until dinner and recharge you for the next stop.
Take a lap: Loop around the park one more time in case you missed something earlier in the day. You’ll get a little extra exercise and may be able to enjoy another ride, as the lines thin out later in the day.
Jennifer Nicole Lee is an international fitness model, best-selling author and motivational speaker who has appeared on Oprah, CBS The Early Show, Inside Edition, E! Entertainment and Fox and Friends. She is the author of the The Fun Fit Foodie Cookbook and was named one of the “Three Top Females in the Fitness Industry” of 2011 by Yahoo Sports. Check out her health and fitness tip videos exclusively on the Vitacost Live Wire.